The BBC documentary, depicting the aftermath of the brutal gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya in 2012, will have its US premier next week and will be attended by Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep and Frieda Pinto in a show of support for the film banned in India.
The US premier of the documentary ‘Storyville: India’s daughter’ on March 9 at the Baruch College of the City University of New York here will be presented by NGO Vital Voices Global Partnership and children’s development organisation Plan International.
Streep and Pinto, who is Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ global ambassador,Â will be joined by the documentary’s director Leslee Udwin at the screening.
Udwin, a Plan ambassador, said the December 2012 rape and the protests that followed was an “Arab spring for gender equality.”
“What impelled me to leave my husband and 2 children for 2 years while I made the film in India was not so much the horror of the rape as the inspiring and extraordinary eruption on the streets. A cry of ‘enough is enough’.
“Unprecedented numbers of ordinary men and women, day after day, faced a ferocious government crackdown that included tear gas, baton charges and water cannon. They were protesting for my rights and the rights of all women. That gives me optimism. I can’t recall another country having done that in my lifetime,” Udwin said.
Vital Voices’ Vice President of Human Rights Cindy Dyer implored everyone to watch the documentary and to “speak out and demand non-violence.”
Dyer said the “provocative” documentary is a powerful platform for cultural change on a global scale and exposes the attitudes and beliefs that result in violence against women.
“The entire world must heed this wise and brave call. It’s not just India — it’s everywhere. Each of us must summon the moral courage to expose the appalling attitudes and beliefs which lie at the core of horrific offenses like the one that claimed” the 23-year-old paramedical student’s life, Dyer said.
“We must have the fortitude and perseverance to extinguish this mindset from our communities and to support leaders who use their voice and agency to advocate for change. So I implore everyone to watch this documentary. Speak out. Demand non-violence,” Dyer said.
The documentary, which was premiered in the UK on March 4, will be screened in countries across the globe — including Switzerland, Norway and Canada — to mark International Women’s Day.
Vital Voices, a prominent organisation that trains and empowers emerging women leaders, said in a statement that through the film Udwin asks people to consider and challenge the social norms that perpetuate violence against women around the world.
Dyer said the documentary is important because it reveals the “shocking but ingrained cultural norms that continue to persist among some men and women in our society, and it paints with vivid detail the thought processes of the perpetrators who commit these crimes.”
“Only by exposing the attitudes and beliefs that result in violence against women can we address and prevent that violence from occurring,” she added.
India’s Daughter, which has been banned in India, tells the story and aftermath of one of the most brutal and shocking gang rapes and murders committed in the country’s recent history.